State Rep. Scott VanSingel’s plan to help crack down on threats made against students and teachers in Michigan schools was approved today by the House Judiciary Committee.
VanSingel, of Grant, said his legislation offers a simple solution to a problem identified by prosecutors and law enforcement agencies across the state.
“Right now, prosecutors can either charge someone with felony terrorism or disturbing the peace – there’s no in-between,” VanSingel said. “Our county prosecutors need better options so they can properly deal with students who make threats.”
The plan laid out in House Bills 5942-43 creates additional options. Anyone who threatens to use a firearm, explosive device, or other dangerous weapons against students or school employees could receive up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Anyone who takes an overt act toward carrying out the threat faces 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $20,000. The terrorism charge, a 20-year felony, and disturbing the peace, a 93-day misdemeanor, would continue to be options as well.
VanSingel said the solution is necessary to better address an increase in threats against schools throughout Michigan.
“The threat of a shooting or a bomb on campus is enough to keep any parent up at night,” VanSingel said. “It’s time to give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to ensure anyone makes such a threat is punished appropriately.”
The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.